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Our History

The roots of our practice were founded here in Christchurch in 1922 by W.H. Trengrove. Over the subsequent generations, what is now Totem Studio has become an integral part of the city’s architectural landscape. Our reputation in the Canterbury region is founded on enduring high quality results produced throughout our extensive portfolio of residential, commercial, healthcare and educational work.

Our firms long history has been upheld by many great NZ architects, since its origins began in 1922 with W.H Trengrove founding the practice in Christchurch. In 1953 John Trengrove took over his father's firm and was joined by Keith Marshall.

The company became Trengrove, Trengrove & Marshall. 

Upon Keith Marshall's retirement in 1976 Richard Blunt (who had worked for the company for many years) became a director and the company became Trengrove & Blunt Architects. John Trengrove's son William became a director in 1994 upon John's retirement. In 2005 Richard Blunt stepped down as director and William was joined by David McKay & Daryl Partridge

In 2019 William retired from the practice and Ian Cattoen-Gilbert came on board with David and Daryl, prior to Daryls retirement in 2021.

Together we have now established our practice as Totem Studio Architects, a client focused identity with a “unique to you” philosophy, that acknowledges our deep roots as a practice, our connection to our craft & to our landscape and our inclusive studio work environment. It under this banner head that we aim to further advance the architecture of NZ for another 100+ years to come . 

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